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Poster: William Tell Date: Nov 2, 2009 7:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tom Constanten's contribution to the Grateful Dead?

Agreed, Mr Earl...you articulated (better than me) the fact that the beast was moving and developing in particular directions that in the end, most likely derive primarily from the "non-leader leader", Jerry, and that the other parts compliment and connect to greater or lesser extent, based on that fundamental theme...thus, hard to evaluate how those individual contributors impacted what was happening largely because of him...like you, I have always seen Jerry's many interests ("side projects" and the like--even just his own personal evolution as a musician) as key to the entire biz). This isn't to downplay how important Jerry's relationships with others could be--as you have noted many times, JKahn probably had as much to do with what happened to Jerry over time as anyone (albeit, somewhat "negatively" vis-a-vis drug use, isolationism, etc.).

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Nov 2, 2009 7:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tom Constanten's contribution to the Grateful Dead?

Yeah, as of late my train of thought has focused on not only Jerry's leadership, but his uncanny sense of self-promotion which is pure magic. Constantly discrediting the band's ability, yet promising a death defying musical tightrope walk at every performance, with the possibility of the walkers failing and falling to their death as you witness it first hand.

Baiting the public by defining the band almost in terms of a garage band...constant underachievers, but if the stars all array themselves properly, magic just might appear. Don't expect much, but if you miss it, you'll not feel the magic.

Garcia used this constant barrage of downplaying the band's abilities in the face of the fact that the band was almost universally accepted and known as highly accomplished musicians. He confessed to knowing musical themes that would "manipulate" audience reaction and swore that the band would never lower themselves to such tactics. Yet, Phil Bombs dropped and Garcia built up huge moments of suspense only to resolve themselves in thrilling crescendos. He knew he was capable of ultimate control, especially with an audience under the influence and wide open to the powers of suggestion.

Despite the fact that he was articulate to a fault he would confess only that he was a regular guy with a guitar. His promotional style was the very same with his artwork in the final years. Just a buffoon with a paintbrush rather than a guitar. He was literally the anti-Barnum, and in may ways it worked just as effectively as if her were old PT himself.


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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Nov 2, 2009 9:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Tom Constanten's contribution to the Grateful Dead?

Jerry was a regular guy with a guitar. He just could make up stuff in the moment better than just about anybody. Enjoyed reading your insights - fun way to start the morning in Seattle.